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Clause 78—(Alteration Of Charges Scheme)

Volume 440: debated on Wednesday 23 July 1947

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Lords Amendment: In page 92, line 9, leave out "as is mentioned" and insert "r other person as are specified."

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."—[ Mr. G. R. Strauss.]

I feel that it would help considerably if we could be given some explanation of what precisely are the numbers involved in this. I should like to know the type of persons it is expected will come under this scheme. I have rather a doubt in my own mind on the subject, and that is why I feel that the Parliamentary Secretary will be delighted to give me the reasons for it.

These Amendments are to enable bodies representing transport users, to appear before the transport tribunals in respect of any charges.

Question put, and agreed to.

Lords Amendment: In page 93, line 27, insert new Clause B.—( Fixing of Fares.)

"Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act the fares to be charged by—
  • (a) the Commission in respect of passenger road transport services provided by them otherwise than under Part II of this Act. and
  • (b) any person other than the Commission in respect of passenger road transport services provided by him under a scheme under Section sixty-two of this Act,
  • shall be approved by the appropriate licensing authority for public service vehicles, and Sections seventy-two to seventy-six of the Road Traffic Act, 1930, shall apply accordingly:
    Provided that the licensing authority shall so far as may be give effect to any relevant charges scheme made under Part V of this Act and relating to such fares, and in respect of operators of passenger road transport services other than the Commission or such person as aforesaid shall have regard to such charges scheme in exercising its powers under paragraph (b) of Subsection (4) of Section seventy-two of the Road Traffic Act, 1930."

    I beg to move, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

    I do not know whether the House would like me briefly to give the reasons for disagreement with this Amendment, or whether they consider that it has all been covered by a discussion which we had previously. Perhaps I ought to put the case briefly. This Amendment makes the road passenger fares of the Board subject to the licensing authorities under the Road Traffic Acts with a proviso that the licensing authorities should, as far as possible, have regard to the charges scheme under Part V of the Bill. We think this Amendment undesirable in that it would lead to inconsistencies in the charges schemes which have been laid down by the tribunal under the elaborate procedure which has to be gone through there, and would place one part of the activities of the Board under the further jurisdiction of an outside body. It would, we feel, introduce an inconsistent element into the whole machinery of charge making under the Bill. The licensing authorities might well place the fares in one area out of accord with the fares charged in another area, and we can see no reason at all why fares should be subject to the licensing authority in view of the machinery which has been laid down for charges schemes, and the public responsibility on the Commission to see that fares are levied according to those schemes, and that the finances of the Commission as a whole are made to pay.

    I do not know that I find the explanation of the Parliamentary Secretary altogether satisfactory. It seems to me to be rather the same point as that which we discussed before. This is another matter of principle, because the Commission is to appear in the same field as private enterprise. Any suggestion that the two should be co-ordinated by the bodies set up by Parliament for the purpose has been rejected out of hand by the Parliamentary Secretary. It seems to me a senseless procedure, especially when Socialists talk so much about the importance of co-ordinated planning. We should oppose this proposal.

    Once again I was hoping I might be able to deal with this Amendment in a fairly quiet way, but the Parliamentary Secretary, who can be very valuable when he wishes, obviously was so because he had so much to hide. We are beginning to understand his technique on these things. It is very simple. In this case, he quite clearly tried to put a fast one over, against the smaller and poorer section of the community. He has tried to work himself into a position to shape affairs for the monstrous, overgrown organisation which i-; being set up by the Bill and which will dominate the lives of all of us. I have no wish to take the matter very far now, because I quite realise it will not be very long before this scheme will be wholly unpopular all through the country, nearly as unpopular as the Ministry of Health is today.

    Division No. 335]


    [8.7 a.m.

    Adams, Richard (Balham)Gilzean, A.Millington, Wing-Comdr E R
    Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South)Glanville, J. E (Consett)Milchison, G R
    Allen, Scholefield (Crewe)Gordon-Walker, P. C.Murray, J. D
    Attewell, H. C.Greenwood, A. W. J (Heywood)Nally, W
    Austin, H. LewisGrierson, E.Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)
    Awbery, S. S.Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford)
    Ayrton Gould. Mrs. BGriffiths, W. D (Moss Side)Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford)
    Balfour, AGunter, R. JNoel-Buxton, Lady
    Barnes, Rt. Hon A JGuy, W H.O'Brien, T.
    Barstow, P. GHale, LeslieOrbach, M.
    Barton, C.Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. RPaling, Will T (Dewsbury)
    Bechervaise, A. EHannan, W, (Maryhill)Palmer, A. M. F.
    Beswick, FHardy, E. A.Pargiter, G A
    Bing, G. H CHastings, Dr. SomervilleParkin, B. T.
    Binns, J.Haworth, J.Paton, J. (Norwich)
    Blenkinsop, AHenderson, Joseph (Ardwick)Pearson, A.
    Blyton, W. RHerbison, Miss M.Piratin, P
    Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton)Hewitson, Capt. MPlatts-Mills, J. F. P
    Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge)Hobson, C. R.Poole, Major Cecil (Lichfield)
    Braddock, T (Mitcham)Holman, P.Price, M. Philips
    Brook, D (Halifax)Hubbard, TPritt, D. N.
    Brown, George (Belper)Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)Proctor, W. T.
    Brown, T. J. (Ince)Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)Randall, H. E
    Bruce Major D. W THughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.)Ranger, J.
    Butler, H. W. (Hackney. S.)Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)Rees-Williams, D R
    Carmichael, JamesHynd, J. B. (Attercliffe)Richards, R.
    Chamberlain, R. AIrving, W. J.Ridealgh, Mrs. M
    Champion, A. JJanner, B.Robens, A.
    Chater, D.Jeger, G. (Winchester)Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
    Chetwynd, G. RJeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E)Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
    Cocks, F. S.Jones, D. T (Hartlepools)Ross, William (Kilmarnock)
    Coldrick, WJones, Elwyn (Plaistow)Royle, C.
    Collins, V. J.Jones, P, Asterley (Hitchin)Sargood, R.
    Colman, Miss G. M.Keenan, W.Shackleton, E. A A
    Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G.Kenyon, C.Sharp, Granville
    Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.)King, E. M.Shurmer, P
    Crossman, R H SKinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.Silverman, J. (Erdington)
    Daggar, G.Kinley, J.Simmons C J.
    Daines, P.Lang, G.Skeffington, A. M
    Davies, Edward (Burslem)Layers, S.Skinnard, F. W.
    Davies, Ernest (Enfield)Lee, F (Hulme)Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W)
    Davies, Haydn (St Paneras, S.W.)Lee, Miss J (Cannock)Sorensen, R. W
    Deer, G.Lewis, A W J. (Upton)Sparks, J. A.
    Delargy, H. J.Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.Stamford, W
    Diamond, J.Logan, D. GSteele, T.
    Dobbie, W.Longden, F.Stephen, C
    Dodds, N. NLyne, A. WStrauss, G R (Lambeth, N)
    Driberg, T. E. NMcAdam, W.Stubbs, A. E.
    Dumpleton, C. WMcGhee, H. GSwingler, S.
    Dye SMack, J. D.Symonds, A L.
    Ede, Rt Hon. J. C.McKinlay, A STaylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
    Evans, John (Ogmore)McLeavy, FTaylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
    Evans, S. N (Wednesbury)MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
    Ewart, RMaepherson, T. (Romford)Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)
    Field, Captain W JMallalieu, J. P. W.Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
    Foot, M. M.Manning, C (Camberwell, N.)Thomas, George (Cardiff)
    Fraser, T. (Hamilton)Manning, Mrs L. (Epping)Thomson, Rt. Hn. G R. (Ed'b'gh, E.)
    Freeman, Peter (Newport)Mathers, GThorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
    Gallacher, W.Mellish, R. J.Timmons, J.
    Ganley, Mrs. C SMiddleton, Mrs. LTitterington, M. F
    Gibson, C. W.Mikardo, IanTolley, L

    I do no refer to red herrings or any nonsense of that kind. I was trying to make out a case why, if we divide on this Clause, largely owing to the efforts of the Parliamentary Secretary—who has shown a genius for stirring up opposition and trouble during the whole night—I shall be obliged to vote for it.

    Question put, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

    The House divided: Ayes, 209, Noes, 64.

    Usborne, HenryWest, D. G.Wise, Major F. J
    Vernon, Maj W. F.White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)Woods, G. S
    Walker, G. H.Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.Wyatt W.
    Wallace, G D (Chislehurst)Witkins, W. A.Yates, V. F.
    Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)Willey, F T. (Sunderland)Younger, Hon Kenneth
    Watkins, T. E.Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)Zilliacus, K.
    Watson, W. MWilliams, D. J. (Neath)
    Weitzman, D.Williams, W R. (Heston)TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
    Wells, P. L. (Faversham)Willis, EMr. Snow and Mr. Popplewell.
    Wells, W. T. (Walsall)Wills, Mrs. E. A.


    Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.Head, Brig. A. H.Prescott, Stanley
    Assheton, Rt. Hon. R.Hutchison, Lt.-Com Clark (E'b'gh, W)Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.
    Baldwin, A EJoynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.Ramsay, Maj. S.
    Beamish, Maj. T. V. HLambert, Hon G.Reid, Rt Hon. J S. C. (Hillhead)
    Bossom, A. CLangford-Holt, J.Robinson, Wing-Comdr. Roland
    Bower, N.Law, Rt. Hon R. K.Ropner, Col. L.
    Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Spearman, A. C. M.
    Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.Lloyd, Selwyn (Wirral)Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
    Butcher, H. W.Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.Strauss, H G. (English universities)
    Clarke, Col. R. S.Mackeson, Brig. H. R.Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
    Clifton-Brown, Lt Col. GMcKie, J. H. (Galloway)Thorp, Lt.-Col. R. A. F.
    Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O EMaclay, Hon. J. S.Touche, G. C.
    Cuthbert, W. N.Macpherson, N. (Dumfries)Turton, R. H.
    Digby, S WMarshall, D. (Bodmin)Wadsworth, G.
    Dodds-Parker, A. D.Mellor, Sir J.Ward, Hon. G R.
    Drayson, G. B.Molson, A. H. E.Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
    Ellict, Rt. Hon. WalterNeven-Spence, Sir BWhite, J. B. (Canterbury)
    Foster, J. G. (Northwich)Nicholson, G.Williams, C. (Torquay)
    Gage, CNoble, Comdr. A. H. P.York, C.
    Grant, LadyOsborne, C.
    Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)Pitman, I. J.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
    Haughton, S G.Poole, O B. S. (Oswestry)Mr. Studholme and Major Conant.